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To begin getting our foods in-line we need to know how much food to take in. Here we will go through how to calculate a good starting point by getting your macros more in line.
Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. They’re the nutrients the body needs in large quantities. Opposed to micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and zinc, that the body needs less of, in comparison.
Proteins help build bones, muscle, blood, and skin. There are two main types of protein-containing foods, lean and fatty proteins — lean proteins (foods containing protein and less fat) being the healthier choice.
Fats get an undeserved bad reputation because they have 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein. But healthy fat is an important part of the diet.
Most people think of bread, cereal, and potatoes when they hear the word carbohydrates. But the list of foods that contain carbohydrates is actually quite extensive. Carbohydrates are essentially sugar molecules. Carbohydrates that contain longer sugar molecules are called complex carbohydrates and take longer to be broken down by the body. They tend to be healthier for you when compared to simple carbohydrates, like table sugar, which is quickly broken down by the body and can cause a spike in blood sugar.
To calculate our caloric requirements we are going to start with finding out how much our body burns at rest your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is the amount of energy (in calories) that your body needs to function if it were at rest for 24 hours.
There’s a lot of math involved, so you might want to grab a pencil to show your work.
There are also some links to help along the way.
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
Sedentary (little or no exercise): calories = BMR × 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.375
Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.55
Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): calories = BMR × 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & a physical job): calories = BMR × 1.9
Now that we know what our macros are, we need to be consistent with our intake. In order to do that we need to pay attention of what we are eating.
Tracking our macros is a great way to do that!
There are many macro trackers available for android. Some are paid and some are free. Find the one that you like the most.
There is something for everyone. Even for iPhone users. Below you will find a quick link to a tracker.
Weight / Muscle Gain
*(these are good starting points to find out what works best for your body)
Tracking macros can be time-consuming, and a great way to help you meet your weight or energy goals. It might take some time to find just the right macronutrient distribution for you. Be patient and consistent. A great weight loss goal is 1-2lbs per week.
We generated our caloric need from the math above.
4 calories is equal to 1 gram of protein
Fats are not the enemy!
Fat has 9 calories per gram
Keep reading for a list of go to Carbohydrates
A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories
You do NOT have any control of the ingredients, preservatives, additives, appetite enhancers or hormone imbalancers in the things you don't make from scratch.
This example is setup as a fairly sedentary 45 yr old 5'4" tall female with a starting weight of 140lbs. Here BMR starts out at 1352kcal per day. Then we multiply that number by the sedentary value of 1.2 from the above chart. This then gives us a daily demand of 1622kcal.
We would be looking at something like this
protein 1622 x .40 = 649 calories
fat 1622 x .35 = 568 calories
carbohydrates 1622 x .25 = 406 calories
Now that we know how the calories brake down lets convert them into grams
protein 649 calories / 4 = 162 grams
fat 568 calories / 9 = 63 grams
carbohydrates 406 calories / 4 =101 grams
If we divide this out into multiple meals. For arguments sake lets say 5 meals. This would bring our per meal values to something like this
protein 162 / 5 = 32g per meal
fat 63 / 5 = 13g per meal
carbs 101 / 5 = 20g per meal
*** If you don't want to do all the leg work yourself of calculating BRM and Macros for weight loss we have put together a FREE download for you, located just after Example No2. The document calculates all the percentages all by itself. It assumes a fairly sedentary individual, it also has conversions for Imperial into Metric.
Here we will use a sedentary 45yr old 5'10" male with a body weight of 220lbs.
This gives us a BMR of 2024kcal. Multiplying that by an activity level of 1.2, we then end up with a daily caloric demand of 2429kcal.
protein 2429 x .40 = 971 calories
fat 2429 x .35 = 850 calories
carbohydrates 2429 x .25 = 607 calories
protein 971 / 4 = 243
fat 850 / 9 = 94
carbohydrates 607 / 4 = 152
If we divide this out into multiple meals. For arguments sake lets say 5 meals. This would bring our per meal values to something like this.
protein 243 / 5 = 49g per meal
fat 94 / 5 = 19g per meal
carbohydrates 152 / 5 = 30g per meal
Calorie Calculator FREE Download
We have put the math together and created this spreadsheet that works for men and women.
It assumes you a weight loss goal and takes activity level as fairly sedentary.
*edit cells that are grey in colour ONLY
Olive Oil (do NOT cook with this. Add it after)
Avocado and oils
Not all carbs are created equal.
Here is a list of some UNLIMITED veggies. Yes, eat as much of these as you want.
Sadly fruits are not unlimited. Keep fruits to about 1 serving per day.